Authorities in the U.S. state of Virginia say they are trying to determine if a man who was shot and killed Friday is the latest victim of a sniper who is blamed for at least seven other killings. A spokesman for President Bush says the federal government will do all it can to help in the search for the sniper, who has terrified area residents.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says President Bush understands how deeply troubling the shootings are for people who live around the nation's capital. Mr. Fleischer says Attorney General John Ashcroft is keeping the president up-to-date on the investigation.
"The president has made it clear to the FBI and to the government, all agencies of the federal government, the importance of dedicating federal resources to help the local law enforcement community catch whoever is behind this. It is now a daily part of the president's FBI briefing," he said.
Mr. Fleischer says the administration has no reason to think that the violence is part of a terrorist attack, but since the shooter is still at large, he says there is no way to know for sure.
Friday's shooting in Virginia has not been officially linked to the earlier shootings that killed seven people and wounded two others. All of the victims were hit with a single rifle shot by a shooter who is believed to have fired from a long distance.